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New interactive map shows thousands working in energy sector across Highlands and Islands

22 April 2013

A new interactive map displaying employment figures within the energy sector in the Highlands and Islands has been launched today (Monday 22 April).

The launch coincides with today’s meeting of the Renewables Industry Advisory Group in Inverness, chaired by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

The figures show that there are currently in excess of 15,000 FTEs working in the energy industry in the Highlands and Islands.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) prepared the interactive jobs map which goes live on the HI-energy website today. HI-energy represents the energy industry within the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and is managed by HIE in partnership with the wider industry.

The figures include employment within approximately 130 energy-related businesses working in renewables, oil and gas and nuclear decommissioning and are who are account managed by HIE . It provides a total figure for each region within the Highlands and Islands and takes into account employment at each stage of the project lifecycle, in all aspects of the energy sector. 

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland is a world leader in the energy sector and the Highlands and Islands are leading the way with a strong workforce.  The Highlands and Islands is making, and will continue to make a major contribution in delivering Scotland’s energy potential. The expertise, energy infrastructure, and vast renewable energy potential available in the area has secured thousands of jobs and will continue to see the benefit from our significant energy resources.  I welcome therefore this interactive map which will help document the range and scale of activity across the energy sector.”

Calum Davidson, HIE’s Director for Energy and Low Carbon, said: “While we estimate that there are currently over 15,000 employed in the sector, we believe the real figure is higher still.

“The Highlands and Islands of Scotland has a growing reputation as the energy power house of Europe.  Its strong legacy in the oil and gas industry and abundance of renewable energy resources, coupled with excellent infrastructure and a skilled workforce means the region is ideally placed to be at the fore of the energy industry.

“This map will be a stepping stone in the aim to document all energy activity within the region.  It is important to capture this information to demonstrate what Scotland is currently achieving within the sector and to show how this industry is significantly contributing to the economic growth of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.”

The 15,000 figure includes over 5,000 oil and gas employees in the North Sea who based in the Highlands and Islands, and another 2,000 direct and contracted staff working on projects including transmission and distribution upgrades for SSE in the region.

Also detailed on the map are planned and operational offshore wind, wave, tidal and demonstration projects around Scottish waters.  Information on these projects includes the project developer, the size and area of the project and the relevant leasing round.

To view the map, visit:

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